Process and methods

4 Topic identification, prioritisation and selection

4.1 Stage 1: Topic identification

Each year the Department of Health's QIPP Wider Reference Group (WRG) will identify potential key therapeutic topics to be retained, retired or added to the current topics. These therapeutic topics will be identified from the wide range of medicines optimisation areas of work based on the criteria defined in box 1.

Box 1 Identification, prioritisation and selection criteria for QIPP key therapeutic topics

Therapeutic topic with a potential opportunity for improving quality, innovation, productivity or prevention because of:

  • safety issue or risk:benefit issue

  • large productivity savings

  • large variations in clinical practice, with data demonstrating under usage or over usage

  • positive technology appraisal

  • potential opportunity to prevent the development of illness or complications, including by reducing service utilisation (for example, admissions)

  • high clinician and/or patient interest.

4.2 Stage 2: Topic prioritisation

The Department of Health's QIPP WRG will prioritise these topics according to the criteria defined in box 1, to produce a draft list of the key therapeutic topics to be retired, retained or added. This list will be uploaded and made available online on the NICE website for consultation. Comments will be invited from NHS organisations and trade associations, and internally from key NICE teams including clinical guidelines and technology appraisals, for a 2-week period. Feedback will be collated by NICE Medicines and Prescribing Centre staff and draft responses produced for each element of feedback.

4.3 Stage 3: Topic selection

The Department of Health's QIPP WRG will consider feedback on the draft list of topics and apply the criteria defined in box 1 to the topics suggested during consultation. A final list of the key therapeutic topics selected for the QIPP key therapeutics document will then be produced by the NICE Medicines and Prescribing Centre and confirmed by the NICE Guidance Executive. The Department of Health's QIPP Partners Group will receive a copy of the final key therapeutic topics selected to be retired, retained or added for information, and the final topic list will be published on the NICE website. At the same time, the Health & Social Care Information Centre (H&SCIC) will commence work on updating QIPP prescribing comparators, where appropriate.